NEWS OF THE WEIRD

CUTTING-EDGE SCIENCE

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On dairy farms across the country, cows queue up, without prodding, to milk themselves by submitting to $250,000 robots that recently became the industry's salvation. According to an April New York Times item, this advance appears to be "win-win" (except for migrant laborers watching choice jobs disappear) — more efficient for the farmer and more pleasant for the cow, which — constantly pregnant — usually prefers frequent milking. Amazingly, cows have learned the drill, moseying up to the precise spot to engage the robot's arms for washing and nipple-cupping. The robots yield copious data tracked from transponders around the cow's neck.

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